Mudcat Café message #3183220 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #138735   Message #3183220
Posted By: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
07-Jul-11 - 01:46 PM
Thread Name: Do purists really exist?
Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
I thought any style of song could be "folk", as long as it had gone through the process?

Trouble is, Guest - no one can say what The Process is, much less how it works; they can't even tell you what came first The Broadsides or the Oral Tradition (so-called). My feeling is The Process is largely folk myth; an article of a very uncertain faith - at least uncertain to those who aren't inclined to fundamentalism folk exclusivity in their musical world view. You can trace any amount of processes in Popular Song (etc.) but that doesn't make them Folk Songs. My feeling is Folk Songs are the specific product of particular musical tradition and style which is what the early collectors were looking for. They then had to justify that interest by according them an almost heremetic significance, but there's no mystery here, just a cultural idiom of song making & remaking in an largely working-class oral culture which may have preceded or succeeded the Broadsides, or been an integral part of it, depending who you talk to. The thoughts that the working-class could have created anything was a complete anathema to the early collectors, who came up with Folk to account for what is only common to all humanity after all. Unfortunately, the later Folk Left suffered from a similar fantasty of proletarian collectivism.

Now if that doesn't bring Brian back into this merry summer fray I don't know what will!